Skip to main content

Full text of "The character of a Christian's life and death illustrated : a sermon upon the death of Mrs. Lucy Dudley, relict of the late honourable Paul Dudley, Esq., who died October 24, 1756, Aet 72 : preached at Roxbury, October 31, 1756"

See other formats




Mr. Adams'^ 



S E R 




O N 



Upon the ^eat!) of 

Madam Dudley. 






Hoe CharaEler of a Chriftians Life 
and Death illtif rated. 







o N 

Upon the S)eSt|) of 

Mrs, Lucy Dudley^ 

Relid of the late Honourable 



■iU 




/i/ 




Who Died Ocloher 24, 1756. 

Preached at Roxibury, October 31, 1756. 

A.M. 

Paftor of the Firft Church in Roxbury, 







B o s r O N : 

Printed and Sold by Edes and Gill, next to the 
Prifon, in Queen-Street , 1756* 




era 



UPON 



Madam Lucy Dudley, 



PHIL. I. 21. 

For to me to live is Chrijl^ cuid to die 
is Gai?7. 



f^' U ''^HIS excellent EpijJle, was written to the 
Church at Philippi ; by the Apoule Paul, 
then a Prifbncr at Rome ; 'tis dire^ed, 
Firft, to the Church in general, to all the 
Saints in Chr'ift yefus^ which are at Philippi, and 
then particularly to the Officers of the Church, which 
were the Bijhops and T^e aeons. After this Infcription, 
accompanied with the ufual apoftolick Benediclion, 
together with fuitable Prayers and Praifes, on account 
of the Church at Philippi, tlie Apodle profefles his 
great Affe^li on to them, and Concern for their Welfare ; 
then having obviated theOffence, his prefentSufferings 
might caft in their Way ; he in the 20th Verfe takes 
* Occafion to mention his own Devotednefs to the Ser- 
vice 



6 A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

vice and Glory of Chrifl: ; according to my earneft 
'EiXpeSiation and my Hope ; that in nothing IJImll be 
affjamed, hut that zvith all Boldnefs, as always, fo now 
alfo, ChrijQ: Jball he magnified in my Body, zuh ether it 
be by Life or by T)eath. A Refoiution, worthy the 
Faith and Fortitude of the great Apoftle ; For to me. to 
live is Chrijl, '' ?vly Life is devoted toChrlft, I live to 
" advance his Kingdom and Honour in the AYorld. 
*' Chrifl is my Life, while I live it is to him ; and to 
'* die is Gain ; this is ray Comfort in all my Perils 
'* and Sufferings, though the Service of Chrifl cofl me 
*^ my Life ; and I fliall not count my Life dear to 
*' mjfelf^, fo that I may finifh my Courfe with Joy, 
" and the Minillry which I have received of the 
" Lord jefus, to leftify the Gofpel of the Grace of 
'' God." 

We have in the holy Apoflle, the true Chara(fler of 
a Believer's Life and Death ; his Life is Chrifi, and 
his Death is Gain. 

Thefe, I iliall endeavour briefiv to iiluflratc and 
improve, in the following Difcourfe. 

Fird, we have the Chara6i:er of a Believer's Life : 
To him to live is Chrift ; he is the Author, Support, 
Rule and End of the Chriftian Life ; his Grace is the 
Principle, his Gofpel the Rulc;, his Example the Mea- 
fure and Pattern, his Service the Work, his Glory 
the End, and his Promifes the Hope and Comfort of 
a Believer's Life. Particularly, 

The Chrifhan's Life is fuppor ted, animated and 
maintained by Chrifl; : as they are faved by the J^^aJJj- 
ing of Regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghoft, 
•which isjhed on them abundantly, through Jefus Chrifi 
our Saviour ; fo by Virtue of their Union to Ckrift, 
they experience the Aids of his indwelling Spirit, 
whereby they are aflifted and enabled, they ar^ 
firengthened with Might by his Spirit in the inner 

Man. 



A Fiineral-S E R M O N. 7 - 

Man. Agreably Chrifr is cali'd the Vine, and 
Chriftians theBranches\, becaiife they grow upon him 
as the Source of divine Life: Agreably the ApodJe 
tells us, ^ / am crudfied with Chrifty neverthelejs I 
live J yet not I but Chrtfi Iroeth in me. And we find 
him afcribing all his Ability to Chrift ; % I can do all 
Things thr(? Chrlft -which ftrengtheneth me. Thus 
the Believer lives upon Chrid:, and is fupported by 
the continual Aids of his Holy Spirit. 
Moreover, 

The Gofpel of Chrill is the Rule of a Chriftian's 
Life ; the Gofpel is not barely a Revelation of 
gracious Do61rines ; but a Sydem of noble Precepts, 
defigned for the Rule of our Lives. This Grace of 
God teaches ns, . that denying UngodUnefs and worldly 
Lnjls wejhoiild live foberly, right eou/ly and godly in 
this frefent World : the Gofpel governs the Heart 
and directs the A^lions of the Chriilian, — He eyes 
this Rule, he labours to pra^lice thd Duties, and to 
abound in the Vertues, which the Gofpel inculcates ; 
Mis Converfatlon Is as hecometh the Gofpel ofChrlfly 
he delights In thisX^w after the Inner Man \ driving 
to excel in evangelical Purity and Righteoufnefs : 
Thus to him to live is Chrift. Again, 

The Life of Jefus is the Pattern of a Believer's 
Life. The Life of Chrift was defigned for an Ex- 
ample to all his Followers ; hence the Apofile John 
tells us, § He that faith he ahldeth In him, ought him- 
Jelfalfofo to walk, even as he zvalked. He perfc^Ttly 
pra£liced the Duties and copied the Vertues of the 
divine Life ; and a Chriflian's Life is a Conformity 
toChrift ; tis to live up to hisExample ; he fets before 
himfelf the illuflrious Chara^ler of Chrid ; he views 
the didinguidiing Graces of it ; he a^lually in a good 
Meafure copies ihem into his own Life ; he learns of 

him , 

t John 15. 4. * Cal. ?. 20. jrHl. 4. 13. § i jcA. 2. 6. 



8 A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

hhuy who IS meek and lozuly in Heart. The Life of 
Chrift is Fnanifell: in the Chriftian's Life, agreable to 
the Apoftle : | ahvays hearing about in the Bodjy the 
dyin(T of the Lord Jefus ; that the Life afo ofjefus 
might he made manifefl in our Body^ for we which 
live J are always delivered unto Death for Jefus Sake, 
that the Life alfo of Jfus ?night he m-ade manifefl in 
our mortal Fief J. As Chrift was an Example of Love 
toGod,fo the BeHever'sLife is full of Love toHim ; 
his Heart is fixed on God. Love fweetens his Duty^ 
and gently, but power fully, inclines and animates him 
to Obedience ; this makes it his Meat and Drink 
to do the Will of his heavenly Father : As Chrift was 
devoted to God, fo the Chriftian is not his own, he 
lives not to Phimfelf ; all his Powers of Mind and 
Body, his Xiifie and Talents are confecrated to God : 
In a Word, all the Vertues and Graces of the Man 
Chrift Jefus, reign in his Heart and govern his Life. 
The Temper and Life of the Believer, is a Confor- 
mity to Chrift, in Love to God, in Devotednefs to his 
Glory, in Delight in God, in Submiffion, Patience, 
Self-den*al, Abftra^lednefs from the World ; tis a 
Conformity to Chrift, in Love to Mankind, Gentle- 
nefs, Goodnefs, Meeknefs, Forbearance, Forgivenefs 
and extenfive Charity ; it is as the Life of Jefus 
adorned with Righteoufnefs, Truth, Sobriety, Since- 
rity and Zeal for God ; thefe are the Glory and Dig- 
nity of his Life ; he not only profeftes Chrift, but 
he lives Chrift ; Chrift lives in his Life, fomething of 
the Beauty and Glory of the Life of Chrift is tranf- 
cribed Jnto the Life of a Believer : Thus to him to 
live is Chrift. 

Moreover, Chrift is the End of a Believer's Life. 
The ultimate End and Defign of a Chriftian is that 
Chrift may be glorified in his Life ; this we find was 

the 

f 2 Qor. 4. 10. II. 



A Funeral-S E R M O N. 9 

the nnfhaken Refolution of the Apoftle, That Chrijl 
might he magnified in his Body, zuh ether it be by Life 
or by "Death ; and we read it as the Charafler of 
Chriftlans : \ For none of us liveth to himfelfy and 
no Man dyeth to himfelf ; for -whether lue live ive 
live unto the Lord, and whether zve die we die unto 
the Lord, Chrift died for all, that they which live 
Jhould not henceforth live unto theirfelves, but unto him 
that died for them and rofe again, Chrift is in the 
Heart and Affections of the Believer : He is the firfl 
and bed in his Eileem ; his Soul is united to him by 
Faith and Love ; hence he fabjeCls all other Ends to 
this one, the Glory of Chrift ; he looks upon himfelf 
as not his own but bought with a Price, even the pre- 
cious Blood of Chri/l, as of a Lamb without Spot or 
Ble?nifh. All his iVims, Defires and Endeavours are 
centered on Chrift, and fwal lowed up lii him ; the 
natural Language of his Heart is, ^^ Lord glorify 
'* thyfelf in rae, teach me to advance thy Caufe, 
" to adorn thy Religion ; I have no feparate End, 
" thy Glory is my Delight ; thy Service is myChcice; 
" to this I devote all my Time, to this I confecrate 
'^ my Powers. For this I chearfully deny and facri- 
" fice all my Lufts ; whether therefore I eat or 
*' drink, or whatever I do, all lliall be directed to 
'' thy Glory." Thus as the Love of Chrift in the 
Heart is the Principle, ^o the Glory of Chrift iii the 
Believer's View is the great End of his Life : And 
thus to him to live is Chrift. 

Furthermore, To obtain Chrift is the great T)efire 
and unwearied Endeavsur of a true Chriftian. He 
is deeply fenfible of his great Need of him, and of 
his All-fufficiency and Ability to five to the utter- 
mofl ell that come iinio God by him ; to them th:4 be- 
lieve he is precious ; they fee a divine Excellency 

B , in 

^ Rom. 14. 7, 8. 



I o A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

in him, he is in their Efleern a Pearl of great Price, 

for which they fell all that they have ; his Perfon is 

amiable, his Offices and Benefits are defirable. He 

therefore labours to obtain Chrifl:, he fceks him ; 

he follows hard after him, he calls upon him ; he 

opens his Heart to receive him, he clofes with him 

by Faith, he defires to be juftified freely of God^s 

Grace through the Redemption that is in Jefiis Chrijl ; 

he prays that Chrijl may be made of God to him^ fP^if 

dom, Kighteoufriefs ^ SanBiJication and Redemption ; 

and his Fear is left he fail of an Interefl in him : 

Thus the Apoftle P^/// rejected all Confidence in his 

legal Righteoufnefs and high Attainments, earneftly 

defiring to be found in Chriil ; f Tea doubtlefs and I 

count all Things but Lofs for the Exce!le?Ky of the 

Knowledge ofChrif Jefus my Lor d^ for whom I have 

fuffered the Lofs of all Things ^ and do count them hut 

T)ung that I may zuin Chrifl ^ and he found in him. 

Of fuch Importance does an Interefl in Chrifl: appear 

to every Believer ; thus earnefl and importunate is 

he to obtain an Intereft in him : And when he has 

a comfortable Hope of this, Oh! with whatAffeftion 

and Joy does he adopt the infpired Language, 

■^ Lord now leitejl thou thy Servant depart in Peace, 

according to thy Pf^ord, for mine Lyes have feen thy 

Salvation. Thus to him to live is Chrifl:. 

Again, Communion with Chrifl: is the Uelight and 
Pleafure of a Believer's Life. The Apoflle John 
fpeaking in the Name of Chriflians tells us, and 
truly our Fellowjhip is ivith the Father and with his 
Son Jefus Chrifl. Agreably they are faid to have 
their Converfation in Heaven. A Believer's Life is 
a walking with God, he acquaints himfelf with God, 
and this Communion and Acquaintance with his God 
and Saviour is the delightful Exercife of his Life ; 

h« 

t Phil. 3.]^S, 9. * Luk. 2. 29, 30. 



A Funeral-S E R M O N. ii 

he delights to draw near toChrifi: in fecret ; Oh! how 
joyfully does he open his Heart to his Redeemer, 
(bread all his Wants before him, and reft in him by 
Faith and Love ; thofe are happy Hours that are 
fpent in fecret Converfe with Heaven ; his Thoughts 
are, as for them that are far from God, they fh all fe- 
r'lfh ; but it is good for r,ie to draw itear to God, In 
a Word, it is not without great Pleaflire that a fincere 
Chriftian draws near to Chrift, reads and hears his 
Word, converfes with him by Prayer and Praife, and 
fits with him at his holy Table. The Pleafure and 
fubftantial Felicity, he often finds in this Life, of 
Communion with Heaven, are a bieded Earnefl: and 
Foretafte of the Fellowfhip the Saints have with 
Chrift in Glory. The Manifeftations of divineLove 
that are fbmetimes experienced in fuch a Life, are a 
Glimpfe of Glory, a Prelibation of the Joys which 
are at God's right Hand for evermore. 

Laftly, Chrift is the Hofe of a Believer's Life. 
The Believer's Life is fall of Hope that ihall never 
make him alhamed, he is fupported amidft the Sor- 
rows of Life, and the Profpe^ts of Death with a 
Hope of immortal Glory ; and this Hope is built on 
Chrift, as its Centre and Bafis ; he is the Foundation, 
the Corner Stone, agreable to the Apoftle, ■)- 'which 
is Chrift in you the Hope of Glory, He is deeply 
fenfible that all his Vertues are fullied with Imper- 
fe6lion, that his Graces are mixed with innumerable 
Failings ; he is afraid to appear before a holy God in 
the Vertuc of his own Righteoufnefs ; he acknow- 
ledges he is but an unprovable Servant ; Lord if 
thou fhould mark Iniquity who fhall (land in thy Sight; 
a dying, a rifen, afcended, interceding Jefus is his 
Hope of Pardon and Acceptance with God ; he lives 
looking for the free Mercy of God unto eternal Life : 

B 2 Thus 

t Gol. I. 27. 



1 2 A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

Thus to theChriftiati to live is Chrift. And thus have 
I given fome Hints at the Chara£ler of a Believer's 
Life, which brings me to confider. 

Secondly, The Account of his "Deaths as to him 
to live is Chrijli fo to him to die is Gain. Some 
read the AVords ©f our Text, | both living and dying 
Chrift is my Gain. He gains Chrifl and eternalGlo- 
ry by Life and Death. Although by the Death of the 
Mediator, "De^th is aboUfied ; Life and Immortality 
are brought to Light in the Gofpel. Yet it has pleafed 
God to continue Death in the World, as a (landing 
Teftimony againft Sin, as a fuitable Means for the 
more eminent Exercife of a Chriflian's Faith and Pa- 
tience ; — and although in its own Nature, it is the 
awful Confequence of the firfl Tranfgreffion ; yet 
to the Saints 'tis, thro' the infinite Wifdom and Grace 
of God, turned to their unfpeakable Gain ; the 
Sting of Death is taken away by the Death of Chrift ; 
and that which is to mortal Fleili the King of Ter- 
rors , is to the Believer a neceflary and lliort Tranf- 
lation to immortal Glory. Flefh and Blood cannot in- 
herit the Kingdom of God, Our Saviour has pur- 
chafed an Immortality, of which our Nature was not 
in its original Conliitution made capable, a Glory and 
Happinefs far excelHng that Felicity for which our 
Nature was originally deiigned : and doubtlefs the 
human Nature receives a vaft Addition of Glory byf 
its Union with the Son of God, by its .Adoption to 
an Heirfhip with him to eternal Life, which we are 
told is the exalted Priviledge of true Chriftians §. 
Therefore till this animal Body be purify'd and 
changed, and in order to this, experience a Didblu- 
tion ; it is not capable of the fuperior Glory revealed 
in the Gofpel, given in Chrift, and referved in Hea- 
ven for us. So that through the Grace of jefus 

Chrift 

f Ernot gar to zeen^ Chrijlos, kal to apothaneln Kerdos. 

4 Rom. 8. 17, 



A Funeral-S E R M O N. 13 

Chrift tafling 'Death for every Man, that temporal 
Death, which is entailed upon ail Mankind, is the In- 
Itrument of Immortality, hereby the Image of the 
earthly ^dam is abolilhed, that the Saint may be 
transformed into the L'tkenefs of the heavenly ; for 
Chrifl flmll change our vile Body, that it may he 
fifhioned like unto his glorious Body, according to the 
working whereby he is able even to fubdue all Things 
unto himfelf But here I muft defcend to Particu- 
lars. 

ifl. By Death the Believer gains a perfeci: Free- 
dom from the Sorrozus and T>ijlrejfes of this mortal 
State ; this World is a vale of Tears, a continued Re- 
volution of Cares and Troubles ; many are the Af- 
fli£tions of t"hebefl,the mod: eminent in thisState ; there 
are fpiritual and temporal Troubles with which the 
Saints are vifited for their Tryal and Brightening ; 
thefe are to try their Faith, to wean them from Time 
and Senfe, to improve their Vcrtues and fit them for 
Heaven ; the bell Saints are fiibjecl to Pain and Sick- 
nefs ; there are the T)ays of'Darknefs, in which they 
find no Pleafure. The Children of God often endure 
much, when their Fleflj and their Heart faileth. We 
are often fenfibly touched with their Infirmities. But 
Death gives them a perfect Freedom from all thefe 
Troubles, their Pains leave them at Death, the Soul 
rifes above the reach of any temporal Trouble ; it is 
fafely lodged /'/; Abrahanis Bofom^ where there is 
fio more Pain nor Sorrozu, for the former Things are 
faffed away ; God wipes away all Tears from their 
Eyes ; Sorrow and Sighing flee away for ever. 
What unfpeakable Gain is this, to be fet at an ever- 
lading Diflance from all PolTibility of Pain and Trou- 
ble, never more to know what Grief or Pain is ! this 
is no contemptible Gain. 

2dly. The 



14 A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

2c!ly. The Believer by Death gains a perfect De- 
liverance from all the Buffetings and T'emf tat ions of 
Satan. Satan, for holy Ends, is fometimes fuffered 
to buifet and perplex the Children of God ; he often 
fuggefts terrible blafphemonsThoughts to the Mind; 
aceufes the Chriflian to his own Confcience, and de- 
ftroys bis fpiritual Repofe, by his fiery Darts, This 
is often a fiery Trial to good Men. But by Death, 
Satan is conquered^they are at once delivered from all 
his Suggeftions, he makes no more attempts upon the 
Chriftians Peace for ever. A precious Priviledge this, 
to fuch as have been longwrejlling with Principalities 
andPowers. How great is his Deliverance, how fweet 
his Reft ! 

3dly. By Death the Believer gains a compleatDc- 
liverance from indwelling Sin and Darknefs. They 
find in this Life, zuhen they would do Goody Evil 
' is prefent zvith them ; and that of the Apoftle is the 
affeftionare Language of theChildren of God : f Oh 
wretched Man that I am, who Jhall deliver me from 
the Body of this T)eath f They lament the Infirmity 
of theFleih.and arebufily cleanfing themfelves from 
the Defilements of Sin ; their pureft Devotions, and 
nobleft Services, are ftained with the Filth of Sin ; 
they are here watching and ftriving, repenting and 
mortifying Sin ; earneftly crying for Deliverance, 
wiihing to love God more, to ferve him better ; and 
live nearer to him. But at Death, the Chriftian gains 
a perfe£l Deliverance from all his Corruptions at 
once ; here is an End of Repentance, Watching, and 
Mortification ; he becomes a Spirit made perfeSt ; 
none of the Dregs of Sin enter the heavenly World ; 
he never laments his Defilement, or groans after De- 
liverance more ; noDeadnefs ever allays hisDevotion, 
noStain ever clouds hisGraces. How fweet is thisReft 

to 

f Rom. 7. 24. 



A Funeral-S E R M O N. 15 

to the heavenly Soul 1 How happy to be free from 
all inherentPollution! to have all Ignorance andDark- 
nefs difpelled ! to be prefent beforeGod withoutSpot! 
I'his is a Salvation they are wilhing for in this Life ; 
this is Joy, this is Life indeed. How happy to retire 
vi£iorious from the Field of Battle ! How happy to 
tafte the Sweets of Liberty and Vi<^ory ! 

4thly. By Death the Believer gains a Freedom 
from the Fear and T^ error of Death. Death is an 
awful Period, a Diflblution fhocking and terrible to 
human Nature ; the *' King of Terrors'' to mortal 
Fleih : There is a natural Dread of MortaHty in the 
bed of Men, and oftentimes good Men are deeply 
imprefs'd with this Fear ; they are through Fear of 
1)eath fuhjeR to Bondage, ' Tis hard to reconcile the 
Mind to fuch a dreadful Event ; many ferious Chrif- 
tians are ever praying to be fet above the Fears of 
Death. But by Death they gain a Deliverance from 
thefe affli^lingCares. Immediately after the Diflblution 
of the Body, the Soul triumphs in its Victory ; and 
though the final compleat Yi<5lory of the Saints over 
Death is not till the Refurrci^ion ; when this Mortal 
fiall put on Immortality y then Jhall he brought to pafi 
the Saying that is written, "[Death is [wallowed up in 
ViBery, Oh T)eath where is thy Sting f O Grave 
where is thy FiBory f IThe Sting ofDeath is Sin,and 
the Strength of Sin is the Lazu ; but ^Thanks he t9 
God who giveth us the FiSiory through our Lordjefus 
Chrift, Though this is the final and compleat Vic- 
tory of the Saints ; yet at Death they obtain a noble 
Victory : And with what holy Triumph does ttie 
departed Soul look back on Death, which was once 
its Terror. *' Once I feared that awful Period ; O 
** Death, once I trembled at thy Cruelty, I abhorred 
^' thyApproach. But now I have conquer'd thy Ter- 
"' rprs J I have fafely pafs'dihat diilrefling Moment, 

*' I 



1 6 A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

"I trufted my Soul to the Care of my kind Re- 
'' deemer, and fafely walk'd thro' that gloomy Vale. 
" Farewell Fear, farewel Death : My Heart is glad, 
*' my Glory rejoiceth ; my Fiefli alfo fhall refl: in 
'' Hope ; thou dofl not leave my Soul in Hell, nor 
^' wilt thou fuffer thy holy One ever to fee Corrup- 
'* tion : Thou wilt ihew me the Path of Life ; in thy 
" Prefence is Fullnefs of Joy ; at thy Right Hand 
^' are Pleafures for evermore." 

5th ly. By Death theBeliever gains a more intimate 
jic quaint ance zuith Jefus Chrift. The Life of a 
Chriftian is a Life of Acquaintance andConverfe with 
him, by Faith ; but there is here an interpofingCloud, 
this mortal Flefh hinders the more noble Views of 
Chrift from the Mind ; and as they love their unfeen 
Saviour, and rejoice in the Hopes of being admitted to 
a nearer Acquaintance with him ; fo they are diligent- 
ly feeking it in this Life. And at Death they gain the 
Perfe^iion of all their Hopes ; their Fellowfliip with 
him is raifed and improved, agreable to our Saviour's 
Prayer, | Father, I will that they alfo tvhom thou 
hafl given me, he luith me where I am^ that they may 
behold my Glory, which thou haft given me. Faith is 
there changed into Vifion, and all their Defires are fa- 
tisfied in the blifsful Prefence of Jefus Chrift ; now 
they fee through a Glafs darkly, hut then Face to Face. 
6thly. By Death Believers gain the full and per- 
petual Manifeftations of God's Love. The Favour 
efGod is Life J and his loving Kindnefs is better than 
Life ; The Love of God is the Soul's Felicity ; but 
fuch is the Darknefs of the prefent State, that the 
Manifeftations of God's Love are often intercepted 
by the intervening Clouds of Grief ; God is fome- 
times pleafed, for the Trial of his Childrens Faith, 
to cloud his Face, and withdraw the Manifeftations of 

bis 

t Joha 17. 24^ 



A Funeral-S E R M O N. 17 

his paternal Love. But by Death the Chriftlan gains, 
a Vi£tory over all his Fears and Doubts ; God iliines 
with the uncealing Light of his Face, no Clouds of 
Guilt and Darknefs will ever intercept the animating 
Beams of his divine Love ; there is no PoiTibility of 
Fear or Mil'lrud inHeaven ; God's Face fliines with 
a perpetual Radiancy, and the Soul feels every Mo- 
ment the vital Streams of hisLove : The divine Lan- 
guage is that in the Prophet, / have loved thee with 
an everlajlhig Love ; therefore with loving Kindnefs 
have I drawn thee. X In a little Wrath I hid my Face 
fi-om thee, for a Moment^ but with everlajling Kind" 
nefs zvill I have Mercy upon thee. § 

yrhly. By Death theSaints gain a moreComprehen- 
CiYcKnorfledge of God. Here they knoiu inPart ; their 
Knowledge at bed: is but confined and very contrafted ; 
but at Death theirViews are enlarged ; this is exprelled 
by feeing God. | When the mental Powers are refined 
from Darknefs and Impurity, the Saints will have a 
much more extenfive and excellent Knowledge of tbe 
Wifdom, Power, Holinefs, Word and Works of the 
divine Nature ; fuch a Knowledge as far furpafles 
what they can have in this imperfefl: State. 

8th ly. By Death the Saints gain Lujlre and Per- 
fection to their Vei'tues. The nobleft Graces are 
here mixed v/ith Imperfe£l:ion ; there is no unfullied 
Vertue, no unfpotted Glory in this Life; the moft 
fervent Love to God is fometimes abated v/ith the 
Charms of the World, the flrongen: Faith and Vertue 
is fometimes ibocked by fubtle Temptations ; Per- 
fe^lion is beyond theBounds of Time, and the Sphere 
of Scnfe. But at Death the Chridians Graces are 
brightened, his Vertues il'iine with unfportcd Liiilre ; 
There is no Darknefs, no Lnnerfection ; Grace fliincs 
and Vertue reic:ns ; there the Image of God is com- 

C pleatly 

X Jcr. 31.3. § Ifa. 54. 8. f Matth. 5. 8. 



1 8 A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

pleatly drawn ; and if the Saints appear fo lovely 
here, if their Light lliines with fuch Liidre before 
Men, if their Faith, Love,Patieiace and Humility, are 
fo charming here,Oh ! how ihoiild we beravillied with 
the unfiiHied Vertues, the divine Chara<fl:ers of the 
Saints in Heaven : If they ihine as Lights, ai this 
amazing Diftance from the Fountain of Light, in 
thefe cold and benighted Regions of Mortality ; how 
illuftrious are they, wBen they approach the Sun of 
Kighteoufnefs, and refle6l his transforming Light. 

9thly. By Death theSaints gain a y^txIadiSatisfaBion 
in the Enjoyment of God, He alone is the fuitable 
Portion of our immortal Spirits; and as Believers arc 
growing up in Vertue and Goodnefs, they come near 
to God and reft in him. But by Reafon of inward 
Corruption and outward Temptations, the Troubles 
of Life and Charms of fenfible Obje6ls, the bed Men 
are often \tdi from their Repofe in God ; but as they 
here lee enough inGod to fill theirMinds, fo byDcaih 
they arrive at the perfedl Enjoyment of God, they 
reft in him by a divine Complacency of Soul, they 
delight in his Goodnefs ; this fills their Minds ; Oh 
the Satisfa61:ion, the undifturbed Repofe of the Saints^ 
in the perpetual Emanations of uncreated Goodnefs ! 
at thy ri^ht Hand are Pie a fares for evermore. 

In a Word, when the Saints dye, they rife above 

the Fears of temporal Judgments. They are taken 

from the Evil to come^ their Hopes are accompliilied, 

they receive the ample Reward of their Faith, Love, 

Zeal and Labour for God, they join the delightful 

Society of Heaven, they gain what Eye hath not 

feeny nor Ear heard ; neither have entered into the 

Heart of Man^ thofe glorious Priviledges, which 

// is not pojjtble ^ for a Man to utter. — • 

I haften to the 

IMPROVE- 

* Arreeta 2 Cor. 12, 4. 



A Funeral-S E R M O N. 19 

IMPROVEMENT. 

1 ft. "We learn of what great Importance Chrift is 
in the Chriilian's Life, to h'm to live h Chrift. And 
the Apoille tells us, \ Chrift is our Life ; a Believer's 
Life is not an empty Formality, or a mere lifeiefs 
Morality, arifing merely from the Nature and Fitnefs 
of Things. But it is a Life animated by Chriif, 
guided by his Gofpel, conformed to his Example, im- 
proved in his Service, and devoted to his Honour 
and Glory. A Chriftian's Life is a holy Fellowfliip 
with Chriil, and widi God through him ; Love to the 
great Redeemer lays as the Principle of all evangelical 
Obedience ; diis animates him in every Duty : In 
fliort, Jefas is the Life, Glory, Hope and Centre of 
a Chi-ifiian. How far elevated is fuch a Life abovQ 
an empty dead Morality ; I mean that Morality that 
has nothing to ao with Chrift, that pays no Regard 
to the Med h tor. 

2dly. Let us ferioufly aflc ourfelves, whether to 
us xo live is Chrift. Unlefs we live to Chrift we 
cannot expecl: to die in him hereafter ; we muft not 
only proiefs Chrift- with our Lips, but live him in 
our Converfation. Let me then alk you, my Hearers, 
are you animated with a Principle of divine Life from 
him l Do you walk by hisGofpel ? Do you copy his 
Vertues ? Do you make his Service your Employ- 
ment ? Arc your Powers, Time and Talents devoted 
to the Glory of Chrift l Is he your End "i Are his 
Graces your Glory 1 Is your Converfation in Hea- 
ven ? Do you live by the Faith of the Son of God ? 
Is his Kingdom fet up in your Hearts .^ Does he 
reign in your AfFe£lions and govern your Lives ^, Do 
you live up to the Chriftian Charafter "t Are you 
zealous in good Works ^ full of Life and Vigour in 
his Service ? We muft thus live to Chrift, as we ex- 
pert 

t Col. 3. 3. 



20 A Funeral-S E R M ON. 

pciH: our Death will be Gain. Alas ! how many, 
even in the profeffing World, are alienated from the 
Life of God ; how many are not favingly acquainted 
with Him and Strangers to this heavenly Life. 

3dly. How different is the Death of a Chriftian 
from that of a Chriftlefs Sinner : One is unfpcakable 
Gain, the other eternal Lofs : TVhat is the Hope of 
the Hypocrite^ though he hath gained j when God taketh 
away his Soul. 

4thly. We learn from what has been faid the hap- 
py Death of fuch as have lived to Chrid, and vvhat 
Comfort we ought to take in their Departure. The 
Death of a Saint, tho' dark in itfelf, and often threat- 
ning to the Church of Chrift, is to hinifelf exceeding 
Gain, Could v/e view this Change as the departed 
Saints do, in the Regions of Immortality, their Death 
would look much more agreable and pleafant. Could 
we view it as they do, Oh 1 v/hat a bleded Change 
would it^appear. Such as have lived to Chrifl, who 
have walked by his Gofpel, copied his Vertucs, de- 
voted themfelves to his Glory, lived near him by 
Faith and Love ; they who have chofen an Intereit 
in him, fuch as have aclcrned his Doclrine by their 
heavenly Lives ; Such happy Souls at Death gain 
the Perfc61:ion of their Vertues, the End of all their 
Hopes : Mark the ferfeH Man, and behold the Up- 
right, for the End, or Reward of that Mhn is Peace. 
H^Jhall enter into Refl:^ they fh all reft in their Beds, 
each one vjalking in his Upright nefs. ^nd I heard 
a Voice from Heaven, fay im^ unto me^ write, hie fed 
are the IDead which die in the Lord, from henceforth ^ 
yea^ Jaith the Spirit, that they may reft from their 
Labours, and their TVorks do follow them. 

Such v/as the Life, and fuch v^^e believe the Death 
of that Honourable Perfon, whofe Remains were 
lately entombed amongd us, with the Honour and 

Refped 



A Funeral'S E R M O N. 21 

Reipe<5i: due to her Memory ; vvhofe iiludrious Cha- 
rafter, and long didinguifhcd Vertues, in a fuperior 
Station of Life, even common- Decency forbids me 
to pafs unnoticed. 

She, for Abilities of Mind, for Wifdom, Know- 
ledge, Prudence, Difcretion, a heavenly Temper, 
pure Morals, unaffecled Piety, lliining Graces, and 
an iinfuUied Character, has been rarely equalled by 
aiiy of her Sex amongfi: us. 

As her Mind was capacious, fo it was fuitably im- 
proved by Reading, and wonderfully enriched with 
iifeful Ideas ; in this She was greatly affifted by the 
learned, judicious and pious Converlation of her late 
Honourable Confort. 

But her great Delight was to be acquainted with 
Chriil and his Religion ; to this End, She carefully 
ftudied the Holy Scriptures, and acquainted Hcrfelf 
with the Writings of the nio(! furious and heavenly 
Divines, that thcfi:; latter xAgcs have aiibrded. 

Pier Heart was early leafoiied Vv'ith the Grace of 
God; She early devoted ileifclf to God, made a 
ProfcfTion of Chrin, aiirl began that Life of Piety, 
in which She continued to increafe to the End ; 
from Her early Days Her Life was dignified with 
that Piety and Devotion, which are the true Glory 
of Perfons of the higheft Rsnk. In publick and 
private, in her v^hole Behaviour, She gave ample 
Teflimony, that the Love of God VTas the governing 
Principle of her Life. 

Her Words were fitly ftoken. Her Talent for 
Converfation was extraordinary. Her Difcourfes 
fprightly,judicious, ferious, entertaining and edifying: 
And whenShe fpake of religiousTruths,it was always 
with Serioufnefs, and a profound Reverence of God 
and divine Things ; they who had the Honour of an 
Acquaintance with Her, were greatly delighted and 

edified 



a. 2 A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

edified with Her amiable Con vcrfation. But it iiinn: 
not be fuppofed,that thofewho knev/Her only in the 
laft Years of Life, when labouring under the Infir- 
mities of Age, could be fully fenfible of the Spright- 
linefs, Sweetnefs and Amiablenefs of Her Convcrfa- 
tion, in this She peculiarly excelled 

In her Family, She was meek, tender and obliging ; 
faithful to the temporal and fpiritual Interefts of all 
under herCare; amiable and exemplary to all who had 
the Happinefs to live near her. 

She was kind and condefcending to Perfbns of the 
loweft Circumflances ; they were treated by Her 
with the Courtefy and Refpe<S that becomes a Chrifiian. 

The Straits and Sufferings of the Poor very fenfi- 
bly affcifted Her ; She heartily pitied them, was ready 
to diflribute, and willing to communicate as their Ne- 
ceffities required. 

She was (Iricl and exemplary in Her Obfervation 
of the Lord's-Day, vifibly difcovcring her Delight 
in it, and inward Veneration for it ; and it was with 
Grief She exprcded herSenfe of (omeThings that fccm 
to be a growing A^bufe of tharDayamongft this People. 

Serious and conflant was She in her \itendance on 
the Inftitutions of God's Houfe, in Seafon and out 
of Seafon ; her Delight was in the lloufe of God, 
where She was plea fed widi the mofl: heavenly and 
evangelical Difcourfes ; Her Gravity, Attention and 
Devotion, were truly exemplary. 

She had an affectionate Regard to the faithful Mi- 
nifters of Chrift ; She refpe6led and honoured them, 
and many of them fliared the Marks of her Regard. 

To her to live was Chrift ; Her great Delight was 
in fecret Fellowiliip with Chrift ; and fo great was 
her Love to fecret Duties, that She conftantly de- 
voted a very confiderable Part of every Day, to be 
fpent in her Clofet, in Reading, Meditation, Self- 
examination 



A Funeral-S E R M O N. 23 

examination and Prayer ; this gave Life and Luftre 
to her Graces ; and to thofe who were beft acquaint- 
ed with Her, She appeared to be a clofe, humble -« 
"Walker with God, v/ell acquainted with the Life and 
Power of Religion ; She evidently made Confcience 
of all her A6i:ions, and (eemed to live and a61:, as in^ 
the immediate Pre fence of God. 

And as the further Perlbns advance in fblid Piety, 
they equally grow in Humility and Self-diffidence ; 
fo Her Religion was ftript of Oflentation ; Her humble 
Opinion of Herfelf was truly remarkable ; She ac- 
counted Herfelf Jiot already to have attained ; She 
was even bowed down with a humble Senfe of Her 
own Unworthinefs, looking upon herfelf as lefs than 
the leaft of all Saints, as not worthy to be reckoned 
in the Number of true Chriftians : Oh ! how often, 
how aiTeclionately did She lament Her Unfruitful- 
nefs, under the Advantages She had long enjoyed : 
This, with a lively Senfe of the Weight of Eternity, 
fometim.es lb over-power'd Her Mind, as, for a Time, 
to prevent Her taking that Comfort which evidently 
belonged to Her ; She was remarkably felf-diffident, 
and afraid of thinking too well of her own Condi- 
tion ; and when She exprefied any Satisfa^iion in the 
Review of Her Life, it was commonly in this hum- 
ble Manner : '' Oh I I hope I have been endeavour- 
*' ing to ferve God, after my poor imperfect Man- 
^' ner." How amiable is this divine Grace 1 Humi- 
lity is the Glory of a Chriftian, adds Luftre to every 
Grace, and charms every Beholder. 

This lowEfteem of Herfelf, led her to prizeChrift 
in all his Offices ; renouncingDependancc on Herfelf, 
fenlible of her Need of Chrift, She greatly ticfired 
to he found in hm; All her Hope of Salvation w^as 
in the free Grace of God, through the Merits of his 
Son \ to obtain whom was the conftant Endeavour of 

Hec 



24 A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

her Life : This She often expreded in the mofl de- 
vout, affe^honate and moving Language. 

She longed to-be made holy and heavenly ; more 
abitrac]:ed from the World, more like Chrill, and 
to have a more intimate Acquaintance with God : She 
laboured and prayed for greater Meafares of Sanctifi- 
cation : This was often her patheticLanguage, '' Oh 1 
'', I think^ I defire Sanclification as much as Jufiifi- 
'^ cation ; to be holy as much as to be happy." Thofe 
heavenly Breathings of Heart feem'd to increafe, as 
She drew near the Clofe of Life ; as Mer Fle{Jj and 
HerHeart failed Her, God was theDefireand Stre?-tgth 
of her Heart : Her Piety and Devotion feemed to 
increafe under the Decays of Nature. 

She endured the Pain and Diftrefs with which She 
was vifited, efpecially during the laflMonths of Her 
Life, with Chridian Patience and Refignation toGod ; 
realizing Death in its gradual Approach, making it 
Her Bufmefs to be ready for the Coming of Her 
Lord ; She feemed to be weaned from the 
World ; She faw nothing here for which it was worth 
while to live ; She beheld Death in its nearefl Ap- 
proach, without Amazement; as Her Life was long 
an Ornament to Chriftianity, and becoming a Difciplc 
of Chrift ; fo She clofed it with that Humility, with 
that Devotion , with that humble Confidence in Her 
God and Saviour, that one might expert in an experi- 
enced Chriftian ; fuch as we would wilh to find in a 

departing Friend. As for her to live was Chrift, 

fo to die is Gain. But I forbear. 

May fuch as have been acquainted with Her holy 
and unblameable Walk in Chrifi:, imitate Herwherein 
She followed Chrift. Oh ! that fuch may remember 
her Faith, Love, Patience, Spirituality andDevotion ; 
may they, by them, be anin:iated and taught to 

live to Tefus Chriil. 

^ Oh! 



A Funeral-S E R M O N. 25 

Oh ! chat Perfons of the higheft Rank, iiTthe moft 
aiiluent Circumflances, would make it their Bufinefs 
to live to- Ch rift. Here you have an Example of 
One, amidft the Riches and Honours of this Wcrld, 
devoting Herfelf to Chrift, trampling under Foot thc- 
vain Pieafures and Follies of the World : and what> 
was her Glory will be yours. Oh ! how amiable 
does Yertue and Piety appear in your Station* The 
J^ifeafjefiis manifefi in your mortal Fie fb, is the 
Glory of Life; this is your trueDignity,and alone will 
brighten your Chara^ten Without Vcrtue and Piety 
there is no true Dignity; tis only a holy Life that 
can recommend you to' the fbbcr Judgment and:, 
Reafbn of Mankind ; tis only a Character drawn by- 
a happy Union of the noble Graces of the Chriftian 
Life that will (land as a Monument to perpetuate 
your Memory. "^ Thisjhall be an Ornament of Grace 
unto thy Head as Chains about thy Neck, j- Wifdom 
is the principal Things therefore get JViJdsm : and 
ivith all thy getting get Underjlanding. Exalt her, and 
Jhe fhall promote thee : fjje fhall bring thee to Honour 
-when thou dofl embrace her. She fl:fall give to thineHead 
an Ornament of GraCe : a Crown of Glory fhall fhe 
deliver to thee. Therefore make it your Concern to 
live to Chrift, and as your Advantages are fuperior 
to other Mens, improve them to the nobleftPurpofes: 
Break thro' the Temptations to Luxury, Idlenefs and 
Senfnality ; converfe much with Heaven, and excel 
as far in the Amiablenefs and Purity of your Lives, 
as in your Rank & Dignity in theWorld. Thus when 
you are called to part with yourAccommodations here, 
your Death will be Gain, and you will tranfmit to 
Poflerity Characters worthy to be written inLetters of 
Gold, and handed down to all fucceeding Ages of 
Time ; for the Memory of the Jufl is hleffed. 

D Finally, 

* ProT. I. 9. I Prov. 4. 7, 8, 9. 



a 6 A Funeral-S E R M O N. 

Finally, Since we fee that neither Riches nor Ho- 
nours, yea,, not the moft exalted Piety, can fave us. 
from the Power of Death ; let us be convinced of th© 
Vanity of the World ; let us chufe Chrift, let us live 
by Faith, let us live near to God, let us devote our- 
felves to the Service and Glory of Chrift, let us h" 
termine to know and feek nothing butjefus Chrifl and 
him crucified ; and in this let us be animated by the- 
Examples of thofe, v/ho through Faith and Patience 
inherit the Promifes. May Chrift rule and govern in 
our Hearts and Lives. Let us ftudy to excel in every 
Virtue, that when our Death comes, we may have 
Peace of Confcience, and be able to lay with the holy 
Apoftlej/^r to me to I we is Chrifl y and to die is Gain^ 



FINIS.